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  1. April and May were once again limited in the amount of time I had to play poker. We finally have a closing date for selling our old house and then buying the new one but there were still plenty of things that needed to be done in the meantime. My hope now is to get back to a normal schedule by July. However, so as to not keep belaboring my lack of time to grind month after month, let’s switch topics to something you guys asked about…

    The question was, “How do you have such a high “In The Money” percentage?” I think the answer to that is multi-faceted so let’s break it down. First, I would say, is the ability to gain a healthy stack in the early stage of a tourney which then helps propel me to being in the money and then further. On Merge I have a definite skill edge over 90+% of the field so if I’m playing well then just making it to the money is not too hard.

    Now obviously there are times I’m either not playing well or running well and this leads to my second point, which is I have a large bankroll for this site which allows me to fire multiple bullets. 2 years ago I was in Las Vegas playing a WSOP $1500 event when Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi got moved to my table. To me a $1500 buy-in is big…to him it was no big deal. His attitude was if I bust I bust and I’ll just re-buy back in during the next flight. It was then that I realized, that it’s the same way for me on Merge. The buy-ins I play range from $5.50-$162. With my bankroll, I can fire each of these tournaments multiple times. In fact, using Poker Dominator to track everything, I can tell you that personally I can fire 5 times in the $5.50 and still be profitable. 4 times in the $11, 3 times in the $33 and 2 times in both the $109 and $162. So the ability to fire multiple times and still not only be ITM but also be profitable is a huge advantage.

    Now when the question was originally asked, one of the people also made the comment that not only are you cashing but you’re also making deep runs so it’s not like you’re just holding on to get into the money. While that is true, I also sort of have this innate ability to know when I should play for the win and when it’s better to just hang on for the min cash. In other words, sometimes the EV play is to fold when short stacked because the value of a double up isn’t as great as the odds are of making it to the money if you just fold another orbit. This is of course a form of ICM. Even then though there are times when I’m totally playing exploitatively against others. If I think I can get a steal through I will, even if it means I bust as the bubble boy. Again, this one is tough to explain but it’s something I’ve just seemed to naturally have a good feel for even before push/fold charts and ICM calculators and such came into popularity.

    So there you have it…skill, firing multiple bullets and being a short stack ninja, in my mind are the 3 biggest reasons I consistently cash 40-45% of all the tourneys I play. Of course it always helps to run good as well in key spots but like you guys I have both heaters and downswings to contend with. So what do you guys think…any other reasons you can think of for why either myself or others that cash a large percentage of the time do so? Leave your comments here on the blog or Tweet a comment on my post.

    Ok as for April and May let’s take a look at the once again limited grind… was fortunate enough to have a couple of nice wins to somewhat make up for the limited amount of action…

    143…Tournaments Played
    68…..Cashes (47.6%)
    16.…. Final Tables
    6.......Top 3 Finishes
    4……Wins
    $7401.78 in total cashes (77.85% ROI)

    Now onto my Merge up-date. For those not familiar with my blog, Merge stopped allowing Pocket Fives to track scores on September 5th 2016, so what I’m doing here is tracking where I would have been had they not stopped tracking. I do play some on other networks but Merge gets out 95% of my volume so I thought it would be fun and motivating to keep things going as if though it never stopped. I use Poker Dominator to track all tourney’s so these are the most accurate and up-to-date numbers as of the last day of the month.

    Merge Lifetime Total: $488,309.21
    Career Lifetime Total: $553,907.46
    Career number of Cashes: 4388

    Follow my monthly results in real-time by following me on Twitter: @YourPokerPastor

    Thanks for reading...please post a comment with your thoughts or anything you'd like me to address in future blogs.

  2. It's good to be back on US soil after two months in Europe. I absolutely love everything about Europe, but nearing the end of my journey I started to get exhausted from the travel. It's always good to get back home and take a short break to regroup and get the mind and body feeling good again.


    For the past week of being home, I have been considering my exit from poker. Each day I come up with something new. But today I am questioning why I am questioning my future. I've determined that there is something about being in my hometown that makes me feel like I have to do what everyone is doing (get a "real" job, buy a house, find a wife, have kids, ect...).


    However, the past couple of days I have the fire lit under me again. I'm ready to compete, and put all my hard work to the test. Poker has been the one thing over the past 15 years that I haven't given up. I have spent thousands of hours studying this game and thousands of hours playing this game. Constantly, I am learning and thinking about how I can play hands/spots better and exploit my opponents.


    The passion is still there. I absolutely love poker. I still strive to be the best. I still love the competition.


    People laughed behind my back when they found out that I was playing poker for a living. They will never understand. I hope they continue to doubt me, because it's one of the main reasons I am able to succeeded. I find it sad that people waste their energy rooting against me and waiting for me to fail instead of finding ways to change their life for the better, but to each their own. Most people have given up on their dream, I have not.


    If I come off a bit arrogant sometimes, it's because I worked really hard for this. I typically put in 80 hours a week in some form, just to make sure I have enough money for the month to pay the bills. I didn't have natural talent like so many of the successful poker players. I had to work really hard for this. I am proud of my success and will continue to strive for more.


    My goals haven't change even though my surroundings are trying to talk me into change. I will be a champion. I will win World Series of Poker Rings. I will win a major tournament. I will continue to travel to the world while fulfilling my dream. But even if I don't get those things, I will never give up on this dream!


    You can not stop me!


    If you are unhappy with your current situation, here are a few things I hope will help.


    Don't let the people closet to you scare you away from what you are doing. They don't understand what you are trying to accomplish and so often they try to talk you out of something because they themselves were never able to take a risk and even attempt to accomplish their goals.


    Stay focused. This is what you want. There are going to be moments of pain. It will not be easy. You will not get to the end goal if you're distracted. You have to work on your goal everyday. If you truly want it, there is no reason to take a day off. Don't take baby steps, take leaps. But understand that even with taking leaps, this goal will take time. be prepared for the long haul


    If the main fear for accomplishing your goal is the financial burden, find ways to simplify your life. Don't buy the $7 Starbucks everyday. Get rid of subscription services like Netflix (it's going to distract you from your goal anyways). Sell your vehicle. Live in a cheaper apartment/house or live free and travel around from different cheap AirBnb's. Move to a cheaper country. If you work digitally, you can live in places like Thailand for under $500 a month.


    People will judge you. As soon as you start reaching for something that seems unobtainable to others, they will judge you. They will wait for you to fail. Use this as motivation and tell yourself, "I must succeed".


    But Chris, It's easy for you to say...

    Just stop. There is a way. It's easy to come up with excuses why you can't do something. That's what 99% of people do and that's why they get stuck working some job they hate with no life fulfillment. You are different. You're the 1% that will find a way.


    Lastly...


    Don't make it all about money. I hate the cliche, but it's true, money will not make you happy. You need to find something that you truly enjoy. If you make $20,000 a year from it or $200,000 a year from it, it shouldn't matter. Remember, this is what you want. The financial aspect is just the payoff for your passion.


    Chris 'Professional Homeless Poker Player' Perkins

  3. Wow talk about a crazy last 2 months and it’s still not quite done. In total I only played 100 tournaments the last 2 months. February saw me play the lowest number of tournaments in a month in the last 6 years. March then saw me break that “record” by 50%.

    So what was the cause of all this? Well 2 major factors were my house and the country of Haiti. Let me explain. When Lisa and I moved to Harrisburg, PA in 2010 to start a new church, we originally weren’t able to sell our house in our previous city so we had to settle for a smaller house than what we really need. Once that house sold 2 years later, we decided to still wait to purchase something new until we knew exactly where in Harrisburg the church would find a permanent location (we met in a movie theater for the first 5 ½ years).

    Now that we’re in a permanent location, we decided to start “looking” and started the process of decluttering and getting the house in show condition. This took quite a bit of our time and much to our surprise when we listed the house it only took a few days for it to be under contract. This meant then taking most of our evenings to go look at houses to potentially purchase. Once we found one and were under contract, everything looked good to go. Well that is until the buyer of our home backed out of the contract at the last minute. The good news was we got to pocket his deposit money…the bad news of course was we had to start the process all over again.

    Add into all of this that I spent a week in Orlando for a convention, had my normal church responsibilities including the extra prep for Easter week and Lisa hurt her foot. Oh and we haven’t even got to Haiti yet. For the second year in a row I was able to spend 8 days in Haiti serving people in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

    As I said, last year, “There are some things you see which simply aren’t right”. Let me give you one example. We took a really rough ride in an off-road vehicle to the top of a mountain to visit a remote mountain church. Once there the pastor wanted to know if we wanted to hike to their water source. We said yes and down the backside of the mountain we went. It was 100 degrees, there is no shade and very dusty and rocky. I’m expecting when we get to the bottom (about 1.5 miles) that there will be a stream. Instead what we find is a pit in the ground. Down in that pit there is a hole big enough that someone can reach down in and ladle out a bit of water.

    So here is the scene. 20-25 people standing in line waiting their turn to ladle out water 1 scoop at a time into a 5 gallon bucket. Once filled, the 5 gallon bucket weighs about 40lbs. Now it’s time to walk back up the mountain. Did I mention the heat? Did I mention the rocky, steep, uneven terrain? Yeah I did, what I haven’t mentioned is that most of this water hauling was being done by kids! In bare feet or poorly soled shoes. Oh and once at the top, they pour it out, then head back down the mountain to stand in line and do it all over again. In total they will make 3 trips in a day to provide water. This particular source serves 5 villages from 2 mountains. In the picture below, you can see the hole they reach into just behind the blue cup.



    This story is just 1 afternoon amongst 8 days in the country. Each time I go, I try to do my small part to help while I’m there. The biggest thing trips like this do though is change you. It’s hard to come back to the USA and complain about anything. I mean think about it…right now you can walk to your refrigerator and you have options of what to eat. If you don’t like those options you can always go out to eat at the dozens of restaurants right near you. Or think about this morning as you got dressed…again you had options. Most people in Haiti have no options…and although they are the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere they are “only” the 20th poorest country in the world. So next time you take a bad beat in a hand or tournament and think “this is the worst possible thing”, please realize that it’s really not. In fact, stop and thank God that you have the time and money to play a game you love.

    Once back from Haiti, it was time for Easter week at the church which is always busy and then thankfully a new offer came in for our house which we accepted. Also thankfully, the sellers of the house we’re purchasing held it off the market while we found a new buyer. So again we’re in the midst of house inspections and hopefully soon packing. All that to say, it looks like I’m still a month or so away from getting back to the grind like I’ve been in the past. However, this unscheduled break has been good. After 10 years of playing, 6 of them seriously grinding, an extended break has been just what I needed.

    Ok let’s get going with the breakdown of February and March’s very limited grind…

    100…Tournaments Played
    40….Cashes (40.0%)
    9.…. Final Tables
    3.......Top 3 Finishes
    1……Wins
    $3605.87 in total cashes (-4.98% ROI)

    Now onto my Merge up-date. For those not familiar with my blog, Merge stopped allowing Pocket Fives to track scores on September 5th 2016, so what I’m doing here is tracking where I would have been had they not stopped tracking. I do play some on other networks but Merge gets out 95% of my volume so I thought it would be fun and motivating to keep things going as if though it never stopped. I use Poker Dominator to track all tourney’s so these are the most accurate and up-to-date numbers as of the last day of the month.

    Merge Lifetime Total: $481,345.68
    Career Lifetime Total: $546,505.68
    Career number of Cashes: 4320

    Follow my monthly results in real-time by following me on Twitter: @YourPokerPastor

    Thanks for reading...please post a comment with your thoughts or anything you'd like me to address in future blogs.

 
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